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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wapo, Meet Michael Yon and start reporting the news

Recently we posted a piece on Michael Yon and what he calls the Bizarro world of reporting as he walked us through the differences between what is reported about Iraq and the realities on the ground which he risks his life to bring us, every day.

Michael has been in Iraq since December 2004 and he is not shy about reporting the bad news nor the good news.

We brought this up ourselves when we spoke of the golden rule of journalism as referenced by Robin Wright of Wapo, where bad news is news to be reported and good news shouldn't be reported and no news is good news.

We even showed the video of her acknowledging that good news from Iraq shouldn't be reported to the American people.

In Yon's piece about the lazy, careless and less than truthful reporting that our MSM seems to call journalism, he made them an offer:

Furthermore, with the help of other clear-eyed individuals, I may actually be in a unique position to do something to remedy this, if the experience I had with the AP response to my challenge to investigate and report on the disturbing gravesites in the Al Hamira village is any guide.

Although I can’t answer to the cause of the problem, I humbly offer permission to media outlets to republish excerpts of the dispatch or the dispatch in its entirety, including my photographs from the story (if used as they are in the dispatch) at no cost during the month of July 2007. I only ask that the site receive proper attribution and that any publication taking me up on the offer email the website with the details.

That offer was dying on the vine until Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee took the Associated Press to task for their bungled reportage of a different mass graves news story, using my dispatch as a comparison. Although it took a little back and forth, and some additional pressure from all the other bloggers who started tracking on the topic, the AP finally dispatched a reporter to the scene. The resulting article was picked up by at least one other major media outlet, reaching thousands more people. This got me to thinking: what if I made a similar offer on a more permanent basis to a large media syndication, say, the National Newspaper Association?

Last night I asked how many people had heard of the Parade that was held in Iraq this week and showed that when doing a google news search, only one place even bothered to report about it and that was Time.

Wapo today writes a piece which completely ignores the facts that have been reported in the last few months, ignores the Parade which showed such unity and pride in what has been accomplished and to which they invited our military to watch, ignores the level of violences in Iraq falling to once again report on nothing more than which furthers their political agenda.

As you go read the Wapo piece, you look for yourself to see if there is any mention of:

**The parade in Ramadi, Iraq.

**As Brigadier General Gurganus said on Sunday, about 2,200 U.S. Marines from the 13th MEU have left Anbar province. That unit, a part of the original surge force, represented about half the surge forces in Al Anbar. They've left as part of their normal timeline and won't be replaced in Iraq.

**U.S. forces have contributed humanitarian services in support of multiple projects, improving the quality of life for the local citizens. And for example, this government has built 16 schools, 7 medical facilities over 80 kilometers of roadways and 25 water improvement projects.

**Violence in and around Baghdad is down 59 percent.

**Car bombs are down 65 percent.

**Casualties from car bombs and roadside bombs are down by 80 percent.

**Casualties from enemy attacks down 77 percent.

**Operations against Iraqi security forces are down 62 percent.

**Assassination attempts for sectarian reasons are down 72 percent.

This is all progress, success and accomplishments that men and women have risked their lives to make happen and our media cannot even be bothered to tell us about it?

3 pages they write but cannot mention the news about what is happening in Iraq.

Jules Crittenden takes it a step further and actually looks through Wapo's archives and finds:

A scan of that past month’s worth of WaPo contributions to Iraq reportage suggests WaPo has been primarily interested in an incident involving some Blackwater security, more recently in Turkey. This sudden intense interest in realities on the ground seems to have been sparked by the death Oct. 14 of an Iraqi correspondent for the Post, Salih Saif Aldin. Fair enough. Or it would be if there was any evidence America’s premier news organizations had any interest in providing in-depth coverage of the war in Iraq, in attempting to understand what is happening there.

A quick search of a month’s Iraq war headlines in the Post reveals anything but actual coverage of Iraq. Then, there are the attention grabbers like the op-ed from the 12 captains. Help me out here. Anyone aware of the Post exhibiting any intense interest lately in the parts of Iraq where things appear to be working? Maybe I missed it.

Gateway Pundit shows an eerie similarity between a portion of the Wapo piece and the Scott Thomas Beaucamp, TNR, piece as well as some other news Wapo's reporters were too incompetent to unearth.

Wapo is yet another example of politically driven agenda reporting that Michael Yon refers to as the Bizarro world of media where reality never touches their papers.